October 5, a day after landing in Quito, I noticed a lump on the back of my leg just above my calf muscle that was painful to the touch. In typical Glen fashion, I chose to grin and bear it until I noticed the lump spreading like a large vein across the back of my leg and toward the front of my knee. Noel & Ingrid, the couple we befriended on the plane were both veterinarians and suggested I should have my leg looked at by a doctor, both suspecting it could be a blood clot that may have resultde from the flight and possibly altitude change. Reluctantly but with the constant coaxing from Leslie, I relented and made a trip to the Hospital Metropolitano Hospital in Quito. Within an hour I was run through a gambit of tests including an ultrasound which detected a small clot at the site of the original lump I noticed. The Sorry for the delay since our last update but this trip has been a bit of a departure from vascular surgeon diagnosed it as shallow vein thrombosis is which is not as serious as deep vein thrombosis but still runs the risk of travelling to the heart or lungs. He put me on a 10 day regiment of blood thinners, anti inflammatory, and topical cream. As of today, the pain is beginning to diminish and I am noticing a slight difference in the swelling. Hopefully, that will continue to change in the next day or two since it has been almost a week since the diagnosis.
We left Otavalo for Quito to visit the hospital and then on to the village of Mindo to take the cable car and hiked 4 hours to some spectacular waterfalls. Their we met another amazing family from Quito that became our translators, tour guides and now friends. The accommodation we booked in Mindo was set in the jungle and owned and operated by local family who were only too willing to assist us with anything we needed, even a 45 minute ride to the next town to catch a bus.
From Mindo we made our way to Banos. Scotty & Anna (our son and his fiance) spend a few days a in Banos back in June and recommended another B&B that was owned by a Danish couple that moved to Ecuador 37 years ago. It certainly lived up to our expectations. While in Banos, we booked a on day tour through the Jungle which include a visit to a local tribe, lunch at another village and a hike to some waterfalls for a dip in the chilling water after a fairly strenuous day. Leslie was the hit of the tour managing some extreme challenges like a swing over the Amazon and another rope swing that was perched at the peak of a large mountain. The younger crowd thought she was the ultimate risk taker/adventurer (where did that come from???). The tour bus returned us to the bus terminal cold and wet for a short walk to our hotel and then dinner at a local German pub where I experienced the best wiener schnitzel I have ever tasted! From there back to the room and hit the sack after a long, eventful day, ready for the 7 hour bus ride to Cuenca the next morning. I forgot to mention there are some fabulous thermal spas in Banos but unfortunately we did not have the time to partake.